Review by Brenda Repland
In the early 1940’s – when Britain was already at war – actress Celia Johnson and her explorer writer husband Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming) wrote each other letters. Separated per force by wartime commitments, they resorted to their only means of communication. While Celia waited out the war in England, Peter was sent first to India and then Burma on Intelligence missions which he referred to as “deception missions to foil and confuse the enemy in the Far East.”
Their daughter, Lucy Fleming and her husband Simon Williams share the stage reading these letters which had been found by the family, perfectly preserved.
The letters make for a stirring picture of the challenges on the home front as well as the war zones, endured by many. Celia continues her acting career while having to contend with a house full of evacuated children and extra family members moving in and rationing of . . . everything.
The letters are touching and often funny as this devoted couple struggle to keep their spirits high. In one, Celia asks Peter if he keeps a diary. “Better to keep that than a woman, I think.”
The letters serve as a history lesson as well with tidbits about wartime –
“We could tell by the sound if the plane were English or German.’
“At last, with victory, we could have the lights on at night.”
“The skies were now so very quiet.”
The title refers to the seeming insecure postal system during the war.
This is a delightful depiction of two charming people during a very trying time.